Picture of JelsaPicture of Jelsa
Jelsa Foto: Rune Roalkvam
Jelsa Foto: Helge Stikbakke/ Statens Vegvesen
Picture of Jelsa
© Ryfylkemuseet Foto: Jarle Lunde/ Suldal Foto

Jelsa – Ryfylke’s oldest fjordside village

Caravan parking

Take a stroll in the fjordside village of Jelsa one summer day or maybe one winter day. Experience the old neighbourhoods and wooden houses, which have attracted many travellers to one of Norway’s most idyllic villages.


Jelsa is the best-preserved fjordside village in all of Ryfylke. In the 13th century a church was built here; an inn and trading post was established in the late 1600s. In 1855, scheduled fjord steamers started calling at Jelsa. The area blossomed thanks to better communications, the lucrative herring fisheries, and high demand for the local barrel-making and shipbuilding.


Jelsa church, completed in 1647, is decorated with beautiful paintings by Gottfri Hendtzcel. A foundation associated with the church believed it imperative to provide good schooling for the children of the village. The schoolhouse, built in 1774, is today a museum. Other cultural attractions include the old houses clustered around Noresjøen, and the sheriff’s residence of Barkeland, on the road to Foreneset.


It is its impression as a whole that makes Jelsa such a cultural gem.


The Ryfylke Museum offers guided tours for groups upon request.



Ryfylke Museum Tel. (+47) 52 79 29 50, post@ryfylkemuseet.no

Jelsa – Ryfylke’s oldest fjordside village
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